Dr Jamaludin from UKM and Encik Amer from UPM were speakers and moderators at the two day course organized by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia.
Dr Jamaluddin is the Head of Quality Management in UPM while Encik Amer is a lecturer in UPM now in the Faculty of Economics and Management.
Encik Amer was twice selected as Special Officer to ex Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad and former Higher Education Minister Dato’ Dr Shafie Salleh.
Part of the module in Day 1 was a Forum. I have to thank Ammar for his choice in making me the last speaker at the informal student forum. I was thankful for being able to wrap things up and give my “shallow” thoughts about Malaysia.
Given the chance to address the mini audience, I gave my views on Malaysia’s unity and steps to enhance a greater integration in our country.
I started off by saying that I will be discussing the topics and my other fellow friends’ ideas based on the many books I have read about Malaysian economy and politics such as K.S. Jomo’s analysis as well as the Malay Dilemma.
I am proud to say that I read the Malay Dilemma and understood it even though I am a Chinese but by a show of hands of how many amongst the audience had read the book, not many were seen.
I rebutted the speakers before me and presented some arguments as well as suggestions on the New Economic Policy, education and politics.
The New Economic Policy was initially formulated to reduce the wealth disparities between races. The income gap and economic pie was heavily controlled by the non Bumiputeras.
Was Malaysia to be blamed for the economic conditions? No. We were the products of a divide-and-rule policy by our colonial masters. With the NEP, Tun Razak and Tun Dr Mahathir’s ideas were to create a country where growth, advancement and development is propelled ahead by a united Malaysia.
The generator of growth at that point was mainly by the minorities. If a motor runs at 25% capacity, how far can the motor go? The vision of the NEP that was later supplemented with a fairer National Development Policy was to create a motor at 100% capacity.
As for the Bumiputeras, Tun Dr Mahathir attempted to create a selected handful of Malay tycoons. They had the responsibility to elevate the bumiputera equities and economic levels. However, they have failed and instead of trying to reduce the income disparities, they enrich themselves.
Although some see the NEP in multiple angles, this is what the humble kid here thinks. I proceeded to slam the Biro Tatanegara where I was once a “graduate” from this camp module. Government policies were always about Wawasan 2020 and the integration and unity of all Malaysians.
However, BTN modules have a different philosophical approach where I experienced a traumatic module in BTN. I dare comment publicly in that hall and in my blog right now that the officers were racists and provocative of racial sentiments. I have also talked about this before in my older posts.
I recommended to the Officers present that the Government has to make sure BTN’s module is reviewed because with Kursus like these being organized and policies of unity being implemented, we cannot afford to have the dismantling effects of BTN’s module over the efforts of other Government agencies in our quest of one way towards UNITY.
There were some individuals who explained that PKR seems to offer an alternative, although with uncertainties, to the coalition of Barisan Nasional. It might be true, that PKR offers a different landscape of politics.
To be led by Anwar is another dilemma. Anwar Ibrahim was once an UMNO leader and he definitely led ABIM in his university days. He might have the experience of governance but what happened to his credibility as a leader?
Look at the September 16th promise and the many other dates before and after that were promised to a large number of MPs and the people where a new Government of Pakatan Rakyat will be formed.
Nothing was materialized. 37 days have passed, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. A Piece of My Mind is still counting.
Also, what guarantees are there that Pakatan Rakyat will offer to be a better Government?
DAP puts forth the idea of a theocratic state where they will not recognize Malaysia as an Islamic state while PAS is seeking a set of Government policies and regulations based on Islamic principles.
The coalition of Pakatan Rakyat is extremely filmsy where sensitivities of other races and religions are not cared for but yet they want something more for themselves.
Thus, politically, I say that some individuals’ ideas have not gone into these length of thoughts. However, I have to agree that UMNO, MCA and MIC should stop playing up the racial and religious sensitivities of everyone.
I then moved on by suggesting to my fellow friends about the theory of dynasty of racism. I need not say it again because I have blogged about this before HERE.
These sensitivities and racial matters these days seem to focus on the Government and Bumiputeras.
The other races must also note that their criticisms must be directed to their own people too. Look at the many companies in Malaysia. To apply for jobs, some companies require the applicants to be able to speak in Mandarin.
Are these not discriminatory policies too? It is actually a trade off. Are the Chinese and Indians willing to forego their identity in their quest for a one united Malaysian race?
Otherwise, we will still be back to square one when it comes to cultures, customs and religion. I urged my fellow friends to consider sending their kids in future to the national schools where education at school level shows high levels of unity.
This is because each of the races have to give in something to achieve another great height.
The vernacular school systems and the religious schools bear similarities to the divide and rule system by our colonial masters.
Total unity can hardly be achieved in this way but at least with a national schools system, near perfect unity can be better achieved.
I ended up by strongly urging the formation of a University Perpaduan Malaysia (once blogged about it HERE and HERE) and the need for a Race Relations Commission Panel in Malaysia (also blogged about it HERE).
My final words for the night was to urge my fellow friends that Malaysia was once a peaceful country where we care for each others’ feelings and sensitivities.
In the past, we can have a happy Malaysia with a multiracial society. Now, why can’t we continue to have rakyat Malaysia berbilang kaum dan agama yang hidup bersatu padu di negara yang aman dan damai?
How I wish I can see the days where Tun Dr M, Tun Dr Ling, Datuk Seri Samy Vellu as representatives of the major communities in Malaysia unite be it in Government, festivals and Elections.
Leaders are influential in determining the daily lives of our people as we tend to listen a lot to them.
I loudly declared in the hall that the current state of disharmony in Malaysia is all because of a weak leadership. I disagree with the words “work with me, not for me”. This system of leadership is another way of allowing many cooks to boil the soup. The soup, will definitely fail.
These are all the humble opinions from a 22 year old man who stand to be corrected, criticized or supported. I respect the diversity of views. But the liberty I have in hand right here at APOMM gives me the guts and cheek to comment responsibly on what rests in my mind.
That ends my blogging of Day 1. Day 2 will follow soon.